After a pre-fall season inspired by aviation and its icon Amelia Earhart, designer Rebecca Minkoff decided to take her loyal fan base on a "voyage to the future" at her Fall 2013 show at New York Fashion Week Friday, adding elements of space travel with what the designer called "sophisticated grunge." The San Diego-born designer took inspiration from the modernity of spacesuits with utilitarian finishes, modern closures, wide zippers and padding and quilting with an urban edge.
"I expanded upon that theme [in pre-fall]," Minkoff explained backstage before the show. "I started looking instead of aviator outfits more looking at spacesuit constructions. You're going to see those details in my outwear the clasps, closures how things are sewn together."
Using high tech fabrics, Minkoff also was futuristic in her execution for Friday's runway show, inviting up-and-coming band Wild Cub to play on stage and pushing social media to the max; The designer allowed attendees, and those watching the live stream at home, to use Twitter and Instagram during the show throug hashtag "#RMFall," which were broadcast on a jumbotron behind the models and the band.
Still, Minkoff, best known for her girly-meets-tomboy aesthetic, did what she does best by incorporating a tailored menswear look still oozing with sex appeal. Juxtaposing the boyish flair, the designer's self-proclaimed favorite piece of the show, though, was an ultra girly sheath dress in a bold hue of red with sculpted shoulders worn by model Ruby Aldridge. It's all because Minkoff knows her customer, which she calls a "perfect paradox" in that she's "forward-thinking, wears her clothes with an edge while maintaining polish."
Minkoff also channeled her quintessential rocker vibe through much of the collection, seen with the opening white biker jacket, quilted separates and lots of leather, from shorts and pants to jackets to dresses and to sleeves.
"Underneath it all, I'm still giving my girl who's a rock'n'roll girl at heart what she wants," Minkoff said.
Minkoff also gave her customers an opportunity to buy right off the runway, with a selection of five items up for sale on her website: two jackets, one shirt, one pair of shorts and, of course, one of her highly-coveted handbags, since she is after all the number one independent accessories designer in the United States.
The designer, who made her ready-to-wear debut in 2009 after designing the now iconic "Morning After Bag (M.A.B)" said she's now looking to become a compete lifestyle brand for women, with plans to open up shop at home in New York and abroad.
"We're doing a real huge international push," Minkoff said backstage. "We already have one freestanding store in Tokyo [which opened last March] and we're going to be opening more in Japan." The designer also said she will be opening her first flagship store in New York City in late August, where she will sell her entire line of accessories, footwear, apparel, handbags and jewelry.
It seems international success was always in the cards for Minkoff. Four years before the designer hit it big with her M.A.B. in 2005, Minkoff designed a shirt baring the words "I Love New York" that made it onto Jay Leno. This overnight fame came shortly after she moved to New York at 18-years-old to pursue her passion.
"This was always my dream," the humble designer said. "So when I get to walk out my office leaving my office, it's like more than anything I could have imagined."